Danny Cates Looking To Make Valenti Modified Racing Series Debut Friday At Stafford Speedway

When it comes to taking steps forward in his racing career, competing full-time in a touring Modified division is ultimately the target for Danny Cates.

Danny Cates celebrates his first career SK Modified victory on May 31 at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Stepanie Kimball/Stafford Speedway)

Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway the Chaplin driver takes the first step toward that goal.

Cates is on the entry for Friday’s 80-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Stafford Motor Speedway. He will be looking to qualify for the event and make his series debut.

Cates is driving for team owner Gary Alender of Bristol. Alender had been fielding a car periodically on the Valenti Modified Racing Series for driver Rick Bell, primarily known for his road course racing.

Alender parted ways with Bell and was connected with Cates through Tony Alteri from T/A Engines.

“I’m wicked excited,” Cates said. “I’ve wanted to run [the Valenti Modified Racing Series] for a few years now. Making the jump with the motors is expensive. With this I don’t have to worry about all the money and that stuff, I can just be a driver and have some fun.”

Cates is in his second year competing weekly in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division at Stafford Motor Speedway, after competing for a number of years in the same division at Thompson International Speedway.

Cates won his first career SK Modified feature at Stafford Speedway on May 31.

The track is expected to start 26 drivers in Friday’s Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Stafford with 30-35 expected to attempt to qualify. Cates is hoping his Stafford experience will help get him in the show.

“It definitely helps that it’s a track that I know,” Cates said. “The learning curve will be maybe a little less. But it’s better that I can concentrate on driving the car and not have to worry about learning a track. It’s a bigger motor and I really don’t have a lot of experience with that.”

“Hopefully we make the show. We don’t know a lot about the car. We scaled it, but we really don’t know what we’ve got until we go out there for practice. Hopefully we can make the feature and log some laps out there.”

Cates said the team expects to attempt to run all of the remaining Valenti Modified Racing Series events in Connecticut this year and possibly choose some others outside of the state to run.

The series will visit Stafford two more times (Aug. 30, Sept. 13), Thompson International Speedway two more times (July 25, Oct. 19) and the Waterford Speedbowl one more time (Aug. 10).

“I’m actually excited thinking about doing some different tracks that I haven’t been to,” Cates said. “I’m really excited about going to Waterford. I’ve wanted to race there since I was a little kid.”

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